A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen, improve the shape of the waist and tighten the underlying muscles. Liposuction is often incorporated as well to further contour the abdominal and waist area.
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the stomach area. It will also tighten weakened and loose abdominal muscles to give the stomach a flatter, firmer appearance.
During the procedure, an incision is made in the lower abdominal region, allowing the surgeon to access and repair the muscles that comprise the abdominal wall and remove excess fat, tissue, and skin.
Liposuction may be utilized to remove excess fat during a tummy tuck.
During the consultation with your doctor, you will be asked about the desired results you are looking to achieve from an abdominoplasty. If you plan to get pregnant or lose weight, discuss this with your surgeon. Abdominoplasty is designed primarily for patients who are mostly satisfied with their weight, but who have excess skin and loose muscle around their midsections. The following conditions could indicate that a tummy tuck is right for you:
- Tightening excess skin to eliminate loose and sagging skin
- Tightening the underlying abdominal muscles to create a firmer abdominal wall
- Removing excess fat to eliminate a protruding tummy
- Maintaining a stable weight, with no plans for future pregnancies
There are many variations both to the design of the incisions and the technique itself. In some instances, it may be possible to avoid an incision around the navel. When the amount of loose skin is minimal and the excess fat deposits are located below the navel, a short horizontal incision is all that is necessary. This procedure is called a partial, or “mini,” tummy tuck.
In a full abdominoplasty, an incision hidden beneath the bikini line is made from hip to hip. A second incision around the belly button allows it to be repositioned in the appropriate location once the extra skin and fat is removed. The underlying muscles are repaired through these same incisions.
Sometimes liposuction may be used alone, or in conjunction with a tummy tuck, to remove additional abdominal fat and improve contour to the abdomen and waist area.
Dr. Somogyi will discuss with you the particular method that he recommends for achieving the best result in your particular case.
What to Expect:
A Tummy tuck may be performed on an outpatient basis. If this is the case, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you for at least the next day or two.
A tummy tuck is performed under general anesthesia. When surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored. In some instances, small drain tubes will have been placed within the abdominal tissues to help avoid accumulation of fluids. Gauze or other dressings may be applied to your abdomen and covered an elastic bandage.
You will be encouraged to go for short walks to promote blood circulation the day after surgery. Try not to sit for long periods of time during the first several days and avoid straining, bending and lifting. Dr. Somogyi will instruct you to sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees. Within a week of surgery, any surgical drains will probably be removed. You may be instructed to wear a support garment depending on what tummy tuck technique was used.
Bruising and some of the swelling will occur and disappear over a period of weeks. The swelling may take months to subside before you will see the final results of your tummy tuck. Even though the incisions from the procedure will heal and fade over time, it’s important to know that the incision lines will be permanently visible. Fortunately, most bathing suits and undergarments usually conceal the incisions for your tummy tuck.
You may be able to resume most of your normal activities anywhere from one to three weeks after surgery. Some mild, periodic discomfort may occur, however, if you experience any severe pains they should be reported to Dr. Somogyi’s office.
Each year thousands of women undergo successful tummy tuck surgery, experience no major problems and are happy with the results. Significant complications from tummy tucks are infrequent. However, Dr. Somogyi’s goal is to make sure you understand what this surgery involves, including possible risks, complications and follow-up care. Tummy Tuck surgery poses various risks, including:
- Irregular or slow to heal scars
- Contour irregularities
- Blood or fluid collections (seromas) under the incision area
Your consultation with Dr. Somogyi is designed to maximize your outcomes and minimize complications by ensuring that the appropriate procedure is selected and that you have a full understanding of your pre and post-operative instructions. Our office is a constant resource for you in this regard and will carefully guide you through this exciting experience.